Robert Lewandowski aims salty dig at Ballon d'Or after honest Karim Benzema admission
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Robert Lewandowski thinks Karim Benzema is the favourite to win this year's Ballon d'Or - but has managed to aim a sly dig at the award's organisers.
The 2022 Ballon d'Or winner will be crowned on Monday, with Real Madrid forward Benzema expected to win it for the first time in his career.
He scored 44 goals in 46 games last season as Real won La Liga and the Champions League. Lewandowski knows how it feels to be an overwhelming favourite, with 2020 set to be his year.
France Football cancelled the award due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which Lewandowski still doesn't understand two years on.
The Barcelona striker told Movistar Plus: "He’s [Benzema] probably one of the favourites to win the Ballon d’Or, of course if they don’t cancel it, then probably he’s going to win this Ballon d’Or, yeah."
Lewandowski helped Bayern Munich to Bundesliga and Champions League glory in 2020, scoring a whopping 55 goals and registering 10 assists.
He did win FIFA's 'The Best' award and UEFA Player of the Year for his exploits.
The Poland international made the comments three days before the first El Clasico of the season, adding an extra bit of needle to the contest.
Should Benzema win the award, he'll receive it in front of close friend and former Real teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Manchester United forward hasn't attended the ceremony since winning the award in 2017, shunning it in 2018, 2019 and 2021.
He has been nominated for this year's iteration after scoring 24 goals in all competitions for United last season.
According to Le Parisien, Ronaldo will be in Paris to offer support to Benzema. Rumours have suggested Ronaldo could be the one who presents the award.
Ronaldo played with Benzema at the Santiago Bernabeu for nine years, arriving in the same summer and winning 15 honours together.
Since Ronaldo's departure in 2018, Benzema has been the main man up to at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The 34-year-old explained to reporters in August: "It's been different for me since Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid.
"It's true that I've scored many more goals, but when Cristiano was here, we had a different style of play, I was providing more assists. He really helped me on and off the pitch.
"But at that time, I did know that I could do more and when he left, it was the time to change my game, change my ambitions and I am doing that well at the moment."
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Topics: Robert Lewandowski, Barcelona, Karim Benzema, Real Madrid, Ballon d'Or